Audiobooks can be one of your best friends in times of social isolation. There’s something incredibly soothing and enriching when a talented voice tells you a story. They can keep you company on a long walk or a drive. They can make a chore–like weeding the garden or folding the laundry–less toilsome. If you struggle with focus while going through your fitness routine or yoga moves, an audiobook can make time fly.
In a time when we’re all staring at screens instead of real people, it’s kind of nice to close your eyes and let someone else do the reading.
I’m often asked if I re-read my novels after they’re published. The answer is never. Most writers I know would concur. We see all the behind-the-scenes struggles we slogged through to get the thing written. And we see all the ways we might have written something better, made it stronger, more emotional, more meaningful. A novel in the idea stage is perfect, like a soap bubble floating on air. Once you start writing it, you pierce the bubble and it becomes something else entirely, and you can never re-make its perfection. If that makes sense.
But one thing I absolutely love to do is to hear my novels read by the voice talents who perform them. Suddenly, it’s a different art form. My words, delivered in someone else’s voice, suddenly sound incredibly meaningful, wise, and emotional.
This month, I’m incredibly proud to present three never-before-available books on audio. And they just happen to be fan favorites.
A bit of backstory on these books: The You I Never Knew and Passing Through Paradise were written at a time when my career was in flux, which is a polite way of saying they were rejected by my publisher. I had found success in writing historical romances, and these books were about contemporary women facing very contemporary issues. So my editor shied away from them. But I loved the books and persisted, and they found a new home at Hachette. Readers loved them, and they’ve been in print ever since they were first published.
About How I Planned Your Wedding–This is by far the funniest book I’ve ever written, and it’s the most special because I wrote it with my daughter and lifelong best friend, Elizabeth Wiggs. I have enormous affection for the story we told, and for the way we put our heads together, swapping chunks of the story back and forth, laughing at ourselves, and generally loving our shared act of creativity.
It’s a book about a moment in time in both our lives. But here’s the thing about a book. The story stays the same, but life carries on. Even before we wrote the book, I was getting a divorce. And when the book was published–during our book tour–I actually met the amazing man who would become my favorite husband!
There’s a further irony. More recently, my daughter found herself unexpectedly single. She and her oh-so-perfect little daughter are two alone now, and I couldn’t be prouder of them both.
So this book has had a bittersweet journey. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less true, or real, or funny, or heartfelt.
And the dramatic reading by two talented voices that bring it to life in a very special way.